Lineup shake-ups. Record-label drama. Father Time. You name it, The Day After probably overcame it during its decade on the Vegas scene. Until now.
A large cyst on drummer Daniel Kloza's wrist recently forced him to leave the group, which in turn has led principals Jenine Cali and KC Wells to put The Day After to sleep, at least as an active performing and recording entity. "As long as Jenine and I are still breathing, there's always gonna be a Day After," Wells, the band's bassist, says. "We can always put it back together if we get the itch. But we won't be pursuing it as a career anymore. I don't foresee any more albums or tours."
- The Day After
- June 3, 8 p.m., free, with Atlas Takes Aim, Ovation Lounge.
- June 24, 8 p.m., $8-$10, with Searchlight, Hard Rock Cafe.
Wells says he and fellow founding member Cali, the alternative-rock band's frontwoman, have contemplated replacing Kloza since he abdicated his drum seat in late March. But ultimately, he says, carrying on just wasn't in their hearts. "It was very unappealing to start looking for someone else and start over. I personally didn't have any desire or will to do that again," Wells says of the prospect of holding auditions for The Day After's seventh drummer. (Kloza had been with the band for three years.) "And the more I thought about it, the more I realized we weren't really having a lot of fun anymore. It had become more about business and strategy.
"Jenine and I are older now," the 31-year-old continues, "and the appeal of making it has become less and less appealing."
The Day After — Cali, Wells, Kloza and guitarist Fred Charles (with the band since November) — will reconvene to perform twice more in public: June 3 at Ovation Lounge and June 24 at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. "It hasn't hit me yet, because we're still playing," Cali, also 31, says. "But I've been playing with him for so long ... I'd see him more than I'd see my own family ... so absolutely, it'll be emotional."
The Day After began as a bedroom project, literally, with Wells and Cali, friends since their middle-school days at the Meadows, getting together at the latter's house to write songs. The pair played its first show in 2001 as Scared of Dolls, then debuted as The Day After in 2002 by sharing a bill with The Killers at the Boston. Along the way, the band played South by Southwest by invitation twice (2005 and 2009), signed with—and then paid to break free from—New York's Gotham Records, won the first Cheyenne Saloon battle of the bands, had a song featured in the video game Pop Star Guitar, released three albums and two EPs and played, Wells estimates, some 650 shows around the country.
"We didn't have any gimmicks. We didn't wear masks or makeup. We just played our asses off," Wells says. "There was a lot of disappointment along the way: Every time it seemed like we were destined for something, we'd take one step forward and two steps back. But, in the end, there's zero I would change."